The Galway Christmas Market is a much-anticipated event each year. It marks the beginning of the festive season in one of Ireland’s most charming cities: Galway. I may be slightly biased as I am from Galway and I am Christmas obsessed!
This blog post delves into the Galway Christmas market, exploring what makes it a magical experience for visitors every year.
Galway Christmas Market Overview
The Galway Christmas Market, held in the city’s central Eyre Square, has become a national highlight of the festive season.
Now in its thirteenth year, the market has adopted a successful format that combines traditional charm with a hive of activity. From wooden chalets selling artisan products to amusement rides, the market brings a festive cheer to the heart of Galway.
It’s a perfect place for families, food lovers, and anyone looking to soak in the holiday spirit. I return home every year at Christmas and this is one of my top things to do in Galway at Christmas.
Where is the Galway Christmas Market Located
The festive Galway Christmas Market is located in Eyre Square, in the heart of Galway city centre.
This central location makes it easily accessible and a focal point for visitors and locals alike.
Eyre Square itself is a historic and lively part of Galway, adding to the overall allure of the market. As the Galway Christmas Market is in the heart of the city, it is easy to get to and easy to explore the city after you have enjoyed some time at the Christmas Market.
What You’ll Find at the Galway Christmas Market
Visitors to the Galway Christmas Market can expect a wide variety of entertainment and attractions.
The market features traditional wooden chalets offering everything from handmade crafts to delicious seasonal treats.
Highlights of the Galway Christmas Market include the high Ferris wheel, offering panoramic views of the city, and the famous Beer Tent, serving a vast array of great beers.
The market is known for its variety of products including Galway based skin care company Ri Na Mara, Christmas Ornaments, Man of Aran Fudge and more.
What are the Top Things to See at the Galway Christmas Market
It’s easy to see everything you want at the Galway Christmas Market as it is in a very walkable area. All the chalets are close together so it’s easy to wander around and explore.
The market is renowned for its artisan food products, offering a range of delights from local charities and European traders. For children, Santa’s Express Train and Santa’s postbox are not to be missed.
Some of my favorites:
- Ri na Mara – read all about this amazing skin care brand here. I’ve loved this brand for years as it is full of natural ingredients and the products truly work. My top picks are the face mask and the bath soak. They sell really cute gift sets for Christmas that are perfect for any skincare lover on your list.
- Man of Aran Fudge – this fudge is delicious and comes in so many flavors. My dad loves it so I always stop by.
- Strawberries and chocolate – this tempts me every year!
- Beer tent – lots of entertainment here! It can get a little busy at night so come prepared.
Where to Stay if I go to the Christmas Market
For those planning to visit the Galway Christmas Market, there are plenty of options for accommodation.
Staying near Eyre Square would be ideal, as it places you right in the heart of the city and close to the market. The Hardiman Hotel sits at the end of Eyre Square and is a beautiful hotel. I love having a glass of wine by the fire here or enjoying their delicious afternoon tea.
The Galmont Hotel is just a short 3 minute walk away from Eyre Square and is also a nice hotel. If you stay here, make sure you make time to enjoy the outdoor jacuzzi looking out onto the water.
The G Hotel in Galway is one of my favorite hotels. It is very fancy and beautifully designed. I make sure I visit the Spa here every time I am home. This is about a 20 minute walk or a short taxi ride from Eyre Square (very worth it in my opinion).
Finally, there are lots of Airbnbs and B&Bs around Galway if you prefer an apartment or a home during your visit to the Galway Christmas Market.
Other Things to See in Galway
Beyond the Christmas Market, Galway, known as the city of tribes, has much to offer.
Galway’s Shop Street is a hub for shopping and dining. After you are finished browsing at the Galway Christmas market, make sure to wander down shop street to see the magic of the lights. Wander all the way down to the Latin Quarter. The streets are full of twinkling lights and festive cheers as locals and visitors catch up over delicious food and drinks.
The Aran Islands are a short trip away and provide a glimpse into traditional Irish life. I prefer going to the Aran Islands over the summer months as it’s drier and much nicer when it’s warm. Instead of the Aran Islands, I would recommend a cozy drive out to Connemara where you can stop for tea somewhere warm.
Final Thoughts: Galway Christmas Market
In conclusion, the Galway Christmas Market is a must-visit destination during the festive season.
It combines traditional Christmas market elements with unique Galway charm, making it one of the most popular Christmas markets in Ireland.
Whether you’re there for the food, shopping, or simply to soak in the festive atmosphere, the Galway Christmas Market is sure to provide an enjoyable day out for the entire family.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the Galway Christmas Market take place?
The Galway Christmas Market typically starts in mid-November and runs until just before Christmas. In 2023, it was the first time that the market stayed open later than Christmas Eve.
Is there an entry fee for the Galway Christmas Market?
No, entry to the Galway Christmas Market is generally free, making it accessible for everyone to enjoy. You don’t need to spend a lot at the Christmas market to enjoy the atmosphere and browse through the chalets.
Are there any activities for children at the Galway Christmas Market?
Yes, the market offers many child-friendly activities, including Santa’s Grotto, the Santa Express Train, and various funfair rides.
Can I find traditional Irish gifts at the Galway Christmas Market?
Absolutely, the market is filled with wooden stalls selling a variety of traditional Irish handmade crafts and gifts.
Is the Galway Christmas Market suitable for a day trip?
Yes, the market is perfect for a day trip, but with so much to see and do, you might want to consider an overnight stay to fully experience everything Galway has to offer. Make sure you stay for dinner at one of the beautiful restaurants in Galway City.
The Galway Christmas Market is more than just a market; it’s an experience that you’ll remember for years to come.
Its blend of festive attractions, delicious food, and unique shopping opportunities make it an unmissable event for anyone visiting Galway during the Christmas period. I have visited the Christmas Market about ten out of the thirteen years and it gives me joy every time I visit.
If you have any more questions about the Galway Christmas Market, Galway Travel recommendations, or all things Ireland, please reach out via Instagram or my contact page. I would love to help you out! If you want to visit an Irish castle when you are visiting Ireland, read all about my favorite luxury Irish Castles.